Sunday, November 09, 2014

oh what a tangled yoke we weave

Or not. I started Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan, a couple of weeks ago, and was proceeding cheerfully along, on my Asheville trip. I had forgotten to bring my tape measure, but decided to just eyeball measurements. I'm a math teacher, and a lifelong estimator. How bad could it be? Honestly, all my measurements were close to the pattern's recommended sizes, so that part is validating. But upon reading finished project notes, after 8 inches had been knitted, including ALL the boring-but-pretty garter rib on the bottom, I started thinking. (uh-oh, you say, can the analysis paralysis be far behind?) Eunny herself recommends that this sweater be knitted with some positive ease. A bunch of folk who knitted it, mention that it needs zero ease to look its best. I see it, myself, as a "little light layer," to be worn mostly open, or only partially buttoned up. I had started it in a size 42", ostensibly for the positive ease,but I'm notorious for knitting sweaters that end up too big/sloppy, and Rowan Felted Tweed is known for its ability to grow with washing. I got close to gauge, and imagine that upon completion, this sweater was gonna grow. I still wanted a little layer. I started to have self doubts. Plus, I wanted to add some length to it, to accomodate my own long waist, and to do that required some re-thinking of the shaping. 

So last night, I ripped it. 8 inches, and 2 skeins of the felted tweed, ripped out. I cast on again, in the 38" size, which fits me exactly, not accounting for the reputed growth of the yarn. For some reason, I kept messing up on the setup row, and so ended up taking 3 tries to actually get the sucker cast on. Sigh. Now it's presumably back on track, stitch markers placed properly, brand new stitch counter placed on the needle, and my head bowed to my task of knitting some garter rib. Which requires constant monitoring, but lets hope my experiences with the first go-round have made me smarter about how garter rib looks from behind. 

I am holding Felted Tweed responsible for me persevering on this project. It is wonderful to knit with. Rustic, yet soft, and oh-so-pretty. The colorway is called "rage," yet it inspires nothing but love in my heart, the deep autumnal red of oak leaves, and Arkansas Black apples. No pix, now, because I only have an inch of garter rib on the needles. I do not see this as a project that will be quickly completed; there's that scary yoke, for one thing, and my own personal bugbear, the picking up of stitches for button bands, and neckband facing. But I hope that a year from now, I can wear it apple picking, and it will comprise the perfect light layer. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

composed while watching Breaking Bad...

Today is the obligatory "I uploaded some random pictures and captioned them" entry. Composed while bingewatching "Breaking Bad." Avoiding schoolwork, for the moment, anyway. 

 Cricket, reminding us that it's important to relax. Really, he spends so much time in this position. I love it. I adore this dog, who has settled down finally, and has become calmer than ever, who has become P's dog, since he is home all day, now. I can't believe he will be 9, come February.

After this tv binge, I am going to follow Crick's suggestion, and go upstairs for a hot bath; epsom salts, lavender, and baking soda - then bed. Project Z, my endless pursuit of serious sleep, continues.

More Halloween aftermath, snow on the Jack o' Lanterns, in Asheville, at a side street cafe. We spent all day Saturday walking around the city, with the storm howling around us; snow blowing horizontally. We dressed warmly, and ducked into galleries, bookstores, and bars for periodic warmth and sustenance.

Of course we checked out some neighborhoods in the city, namely in West Asheville, and then in nearby Black Mountain, as well. I love envisioning other lives, other possible realities, even though the thought of packing up and moving right now gives me hives. There is a little nomad that lives inside me, though, and occasionally she gets restless...Asheville definitely warrants further study! 

See all this garter ribbing? The beginnings of Eunny's Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I'm using some destash Rowan Felted Tweed, the recommended yarn. Not a bad knit, though it strikes me as miles of stockinette, punctuated by a very scary cabled yoke. But right now, reassuring garter rib, pretty and soft, and then soothing stockinette. I will cross the cable bridge when I come to it. I have been in a knitting doldrum for months; starting things, not finishing them, frogging projects, putting other projects in time out...will this sweater find me my mojo?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

a cold and snowy trip to asheville

After a few years of Samhain coming and going without much change in the weather, it appears that the day was actually the harbinger of winter, at least here in the southeastern US.

Pat and I went to Asheville for the weekend, to see the Avett Brothers play on Halloween night, which they did, in full Wizard of Oz get-up. A different kind of Samhain, and one that reminded me of the giddy fun that dressing up in a costume on Halloween night can bring. It's not something I do very often, these years, but seeing them up on stage, unrecognizable until they sang, it hit me again.
Then, we came home from the concert, checked into our motel, and slept, hard. Next morning...snow. 

Spent the day roaming around in Asheville, tasting craft beers, admiring art in galleries, and generally freezing our asses off in the howling wind and nearly horizontal blowing snow. All this bluster amounted to about 3-4 inches altogether, and never did the roads freeze. 

I love Asheville; like all college towns, it is walkable, and full of lovely things to eat and drink. There's a crazy, creative vibe here, as well as a terrific, folk-tinged music scene. The Avetts call it home, so the concert was extra shiny-happy, given that the boys were coming home after a tour. 

Now. November. A month I used to dislike, but now it, like January, feels like a bit of a fresh start; the pagan new year, given Samhain is the last harvest. Time to tilt toward winter.